After three failed attempts, school tax passes in St. Helena - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

After three failed attempts, school tax passes in St. Helena

Posted: Updated:
  • NEWSMore>>

  • Columbus resident turns 100

    Columbus resident turns 100

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 3:04 AM EDT2014-08-20 07:04:02 GMT
    A Columbus resident is celebrating a century milestone.       Lillian Johnson turned 100-years-old on Sunday, Aug. 17. She's the oldest living member in her family, and the next oldest will be 90 inMore >>
    A Columbus resident is celebrating a century milestone.       Lillian Johnson turned 100-years-old on Sunday, Aug. 17. She's the oldest living member in her family, and the next oldest will be 90 inMore >>
  • News 9 MD: Simple procedure helps GERD patients

    News 9 MD: Simple procedure helps GERD patients

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 3:03 AM EDT2014-08-20 07:03:06 GMT
    Acid Reflux Disease, a condition commonly known as GERD, affects about one-third of Americans. It can cause pain, coughing, heartburn - and can even lead to cancer. In today's News 9 MD, a simple procedureMore >>
    Acid Reflux Disease, a condition commonly known as GERD, affects about one-third of Americans. It can cause pain, coughing, heartburn - and can even lead to cancer. In today's News 9 MD, a simple procedureMore >>
  • Uptown Columbus previews fall event series

    Uptown Columbus previews fall event series

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 2:53 AM EDT2014-08-20 06:53:03 GMT
    There will be plenty to do in Uptown Columbus this fall. Uptown Columbus announced their fall event series on Tuesday. Some events will be coming back this season, such as "Blues, Brew And Q," the popular
    More >>
    There will be plenty to do in Uptown Columbus this fall. Uptown Columbus announced their fall event series on Tuesday. Some events will be coming back this season, such as "Blues, Brew And Q," the popular concert series and the continuation of Saturday Market Days. More >>
GREENSBURG, LA (WAFB) -

The community needed to see improvement in the schools before they said yes to paying more taxes in St. Helena Parish. Several times residents have said no to a pay raise for teachers and money to improve the schools, but Tuesday night, both a tax and a bond issue passed. Some teachers say it's all due to the vision of their new leadership.

They show up to class every day ready to teach, but this morning some of the teachers in St. Helena just couldn't hold back their smiles.

Starting pay in the district is $30,000, the lowest in the state. Last night, voters there approved a new school tax that will give teachers a $6,000 raise.

"We have teachers that live here and go out to other parishes to work. That won't have to happen anymore, because they can make a decent salary here," said Norweda Carter, a teacher at St. Helena Elementary School.

Superintendent Kelli Joseph says that raise will appear on checks next school year.

Voters also approved a tax plan that will build a new eight-classroom building at the elementary school, renovate buildings at St. Helena High School, fix the auditorium and gym there as well and add a new football field.

"We have a clear vision to increase student achievement, develop educator effectiveness and build public confidence," Joseph said, when asked why the tax has passed now after it failed three previous times, under other leadership.

Some feel Joseph has done more for this system than past leaders, and she's only been here for one year.

"They can't say anything about us now, we have changed. We're the number one most improved school in state, we're accredited and we got our tax passed," said Cynthia Lee, another teacher at the elementary school.

They say Joseph has put the right people in place and without those positives - the public would have voted the tax down again.

Joseph says the credit should stay in the classroom because that's where the changes have happened. She adds, those changes are just beginning.

"We're still working on building public confidence. While we did win by 54 percent, we still have the remaining that are not convinced," Joseph said.

Joseph says her next mission is to regain control of the middle school; it is currently under state takeover.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, Ga. 31906

FCC Public File
publicfile@wtvm.com
706-494-5400
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WTVM. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.